The Instigator
J.Kenyon
Pro (for)
Winning
49 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Losing
45 Points

On balance, capitalism is more humanitarian than communism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 25 votes the winner is...
J.Kenyon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 13,510 times Debate No: 13988
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (92)
Votes (25)

 

J.Kenyon

Pro

Thanks, Lwerd for accepting, and good luck!

As before, the burden of proof is equal: we both must show the merits of our respective systems and demonstrate their superiority over the alternative.

== Definitions ==

Capitalism – economic system characterized by voluntary exchange, private ownership, and the prohibition of force, fraud, and coercion.

Humanitarian – showing concern for welfare and happiness of mankind.

I'll leave this term open-ended. Some possible criteria might include social stability, equality, prosperity, respect for human rights, etc.

I'll also allow my opponent to define communism as she sees fit (within reason, of course).

== Pro Case ==

1. Individual rights

A) Personal ownership and private property

I'll be defending J�rgen Habermas' discourse ethics.[1] It is necessarily true that rational individuals will assign themselves rules so as to harmonize their interactions. Moreover, ethical discourse consists of the use of argumentation to convince another of the truth of one's position. Belying this is the fact that no one could possibly make any ethical proposition, nor be persuaded by argumentative means unless the right to exclusive use of one's person is presupposed. For example, if you were to try to convince me to become your slave, at the most you could get me to perform uncompensated voluntary labor; the idea of a "voluntary" slave is a contradiction in terms. Similarly, it is logically incoherent to argue against a voluntaryist ethic of self-ownership; such a right is categorically affirmed by the process of argumentative appeal.

One's person is inseparable from his actions; direct interference with my peaceful activities is a violation of my right to self-ownership. Appropriating land for my personal use is an example of such an activity, thus property ownership is a necessary corollary of self-ownership.

B) The role of the state

On libertarianism, the sole legitimate role of the state is to defend individuals against the initiation of force against their person or rightfully owned property. This is the *only* system of government consistent with a natural rights ethic. Such a minimal state is not uninspiring; on the contrary, it is a framework for utopia. Within such a system, free individuals may associate with whomever they want on any mutually agreed upon terms. The Amish or even communists may freely form their own societies operating on their own rules within the framework the state, provided such rules are agreed upon by the members of their respective communities.

2. Economic prosperity and overall well-being

A) Market function

The central, unifying theme in economics a simple one: people act on their desires. Ludwig von Mises termed this "praxeology."[2] The debate we are having affirms this. Engaging in discourse is not without cost, it expresses a preference over other activities we could be doing instead. Moreover, capitalism acknowledges and operates on known laws, such as supply and demand, time value of money, marginal utility, etc. Socio-economic systems can harmonize with these principles, or they may fight against them. Both approaches have predictable results.

B) Free rider problem

Frederic Bastiat once said "the state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else." Socialism creates a game theory scenario. If all wealth is collectively shared and owned, instead of producing to satisfy one's desires, the best outcome is attained by "defectors" who enjoy the fruits of others' labor without themselves being productive. When there is no incentive to produce, the result is the Tragedy of the Commons.

C) Economic calculation problem

Every economic system must answer the question of how to make use of limited resources to satisfy consumer needs. Once it is known that consumers desire 10 units of product A over 7 units of product B, we then have to consider raw materials, labor, machinery, storage facilities, etc. before deciding how much of each to produce. Every one of these instrumental goods is in turn subject to competing forces of supply and demand. Even in the purely theoretical case that a production decision begins with complete technical knowledge of all the relevant factors, changes occur every minute of every day. The only way to coordinate the economic means with the desired ends is via a price mechanism.[3]

D) Capitalism works in practice

Capitalism need not be implemented perfectly. With the increase of economic freedom comes the increase of prosperity. China is a good example of a country that has gradually introduced capitalist elements into a previously command centered economy.[4] Markets can work alongside and to some extent mitigate the harm caused by interventionist policies. On the other hand, socialists have been forced to rationalize the abject failure of their theory in practice by claiming implementations were "inauthentic," "flawed," or "impure."

3. Power structures

A) State authority

David Friedman describes three basic ways to get people to do what you want: persuasion, trade, and force.[5] On capitalism, the only way for a business to get your money is by trade (or persuasion, if you're stupid). To succeed, businesses must either provide a better product, or do so at a lower cost (or both). This is the ultimate check against corporate power. Government, by contrast, is under no such obligation. Governments operate on force, thus they can act with impunity. It is not surprising, then, when Murray Rothbard writes "the libertarian sees that throughout history and into the present day, there has been one central, dominant, and overriding aggressor: the State."[6]

B) Communism leads to tyranny

In a capitalist economy, the organization of society arises via spontaneous order; the price mechanism makes possible the coordination of economic means with desired ends. However, on communism, such "bottom up" structuring is impossible; a central planner is required. In order for the economy to function (albeit far less efficiently than a free market), the dictates of the planner or planning committee must be carried out and disobedience must be punished.

Additionally, communism can't allow "opting out." Let's say the average income in Marxville is $100 a week. Crusoe is a doctor; if he lived outside the commune, he could make $150. Crusoe and his fellow doctors decide to leave, lowering the average income to $90 a week. Jones, an engineer, might earn $100 outside the commune. Thus, soon after Crusoe and his fellow doctors depart, Jones and the engineers follow. Eventually, there are no skilled workers left in Marxville. The community decides that it is necessary to force individuals to stay. Similarly, if workers choose not to produce, they will have to be forced to work.

The implication is that communism can only be implemented by force. Mikhail Bakunin criticizes this notion writing: "no dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up."[7]

|| CONCLUSION ||

Libertarianism allows maximal freedom, enabling individuals to pursue their own chosen ends as they best see fit. Con is faced with a dilemma: if people adopt her system voluntarily, there is no essential conflict with libertarianism. If they don't, she must address the reasons why. I've given two strong economic arguments against Marxism: the free rider problem and the economic calculation problem. Finally, I've argued that a system based on collective ownership necessarily involves a coercive central state and inevitably leads to tyranny.

References: http://tinyurl.com...
Danielle

Con

Thank you, Pro.

I will respond to Pro's arguments in this round and use the next to begin mine.

== Definitions ==

I accept Pro's definitions and submit:

Communism -- a political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society; also against force, fraud and coercion

== Pro Case ==

1. Individual Rights

A) In Qu'est-ce que la propri�t�, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon argued against unused land being regarded as private property, believing that land can only be rightfully possessed by use or occupation (which he called "possession"). As an extension, he argued against such institutions as interest on loans and rent which creates a capitalist class [1].

It does not follow that because one has self-ownership that one has the right to own land, and Pro has not demonstrated that connection. Though Pro quotes Mikhail Bakunin in his opening round, said philosopher is actually a firm *opponent* of capitalism and founded a theory based on a collectivist model. He's said, "And since neither property nor capital produces anything when not fertilized by labor; that means the power and the right to live by exploiting the works of someone else - the right to exploit the work of those who possess neither property nor capital, and who thus are forced to sell their productive power to the lucky owners of both."

B) Pro says the only function of the state is to protect rightfully owned private property. Distinguishing what is or cannot be "rightfully owned private property" is the entire purpise of this debate, so don't be fooled by the persuasive rhetoric of my articulate opponent. Nevertheless he suggests communists may "freely" form their own societies within a capitalist framework. First, the purpose of this debate is to determine which ideology is more humanitarian - not whether or not the two can coexist. Second, it is not true that comm's are free to form their own societies (the Amish are not an example, and by the way they're capitalist) though if my opponent wishes to use this as a significant contention in his favor I'll elaborate further.

2. Economic Prosperity and Well-Being

A) Mises' praxeology is a system of apriorism and has in fact been widely criticized. There is no reason to believe that apriorism provides a consistent and reliable method for obtaining true theories about the real world. Praxeology has obvious affinities with the theories of the great rationalist system-builders of the early modern period, like Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, whose systems, as we now know, were utterly false [2]. There are four main ways in which praxeology can be criticized -- questioning the truth of Mises' axioms; showing flaws in the verbal chain of logic used to draw the inferences arrived at in praxeology; demonstrating unjustified subsidiary propositions or hidden assumptions in Mises' reasoning that invalidate his conclusions; and the question of how to choose between competing praxeological systems derived by a priori deduction from (allegedly) certain starting axioms [3].

B) Pro posits that a Tragedy of the Commons scenario occurs without an incentive to produce, though such a scenario has nothing to do with production and everything to do with exploitation of resources. However such a scenario is just as plausible and in fact more likely under capitalism. Environmental practices are a perfect example of this notion, as people often exploit the environment for profit at detrimental costs [4].

Why does a "state" have to be responsible for managing resources? There have been plenty of examples of local organizations or community-managed resources that do not grant monopolies based on wealth [5]. Additionally, collective restraint serves both the collective and individual interests. Further, the Tragedy of the Anti-Commons exemplifies the contrary scenario: After the fall of communism in Europe, there were many empty stores. Because private parties had rights over the use of store space, it was difficult or even impossible for a startup retailer to negotiate successfully the use of that space [6].

C) In response to the issue of price, two options: First, a collective society could combine the labor theory of value plus quality of labor as a price determinant. Second, small communities may decide to scrap "price" all-together and simply work together to produce what is needed to survive. This is not far-fetched as there are still exceptionally small towns in the midwest that are very communal for example. However where people wanted to actually generate wealth, they could simply utilize free trade and the price determining suggestions I noted.

A communist society need only be a collective one, or one without private property to distinguish class though possession is acceptable. Consider collectivist anarchism and anarcho-communism; though both seek to organize production via worker associations, the former believes the ways of retribution (i.e. distribution) of labor, communist or otherwise, would be settled by each group for itself. Unlike traditional communism, it is not based on free consumption [7].

D) Pro suggests that communists cannot rely on the "Oh well that wasn't pure communism" excuse even though that's the single most utilized capitalist defense around. Nevertheless, Pro suggests China is an example of capitalism thriving. However, his source talks about how "cheap government loans, subsidies, and tax holidays are funding high-tech ventures" as well as other drastic interventionist contributions from the government in Beijing. This is the complete *opposite* of the role of the state my opponent has described. In fact the government determining where to subsidize "private" business is more similar to communism, and yes these practices have made China very successful.

3. Power Structures

A) Pro critiques the use of force by the government though I don't propose government so this is irrelevant.

B) Ironically my opponent labels this point "Communism leads to tyranny" though the exact opposite is true. Because government has a monopoly on force, it is tyrannical by definition -- yet Pro proposes a government to uphold property rights. He suggests any state planning committee as tyrannical, though this is completely non-sensical compared to "government." He also indicates "disobedience will be punished" though fails to mention which agent under communism will do the alleged punishing.

On "opting out" Pro describes a scenario in which all skilled workers leave to seek profit, and the community resorting to force to get people to stay and/or work. It is completely presumptuous to say force will be used by some mysterious entity to get people to stay. Moreover I argue that this would be implausible given everyone has the right to bear arms and protect themselves against slavery. I also object to some mysterious entity forcing people to work and the same logic applies (the right to resist forced labor). However that doesn't mean the community has to share their possessions with everyone. I'll expand more on this and begin my offensive arguments in the next round.

| CONCLUSION |

Pro writes, "Libertarianism allows maximal freedom, enabling individuals to pursue their own chosen ends as they best see fit." We could just as easily replace that word with Communism. Pro suggests that one can adopt my proposed system within a libertarian framework though my system requires no state whereas libertarianism does, making this notion impossible. I've responded to both Pro's Free Rider and Economic Calculation Problem. He concludes, "A system based on collective ownership necessarily involves a coercive central state and inevitably leads to tyranny." This is completely FALSE. In fact, the philosopher Pro quoted in his round specifically theorized about an anarchist collectivist society with no central state and thus no tyranny [8].

SOURCES: http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 1
J.Kenyon

Pro

== Analysis ==

Con has combined arguments from both collectivist anarchism and anarcho-communism, which in many cases conflict with each other. Moreover it's important to point out that collectivist anarchism is NOT a form of communism. Bakunin himself wrote of his ideology "we shall always protest against anything that may in any way resemble communism or state socialism."[1] Con has not yet provided a coherent description of the system she is defending, without which it's impossible to compare our respective cases. Hopefully this issue will be resolved in the next round.

== Pro Case ==

1. Individual Rights

A) Con agrees that the right to self-ownership exists, so the issue is whether property ownership is a legitimate extension of this. She cites Proudhon's "use" theory of ownership as an alternative standard, however, this does not in fact conflict with my stance. In R1 I stated "interference with my peaceful activities is a violation of my right to self-ownership. Appropriating land for my personal use is an example of such an activity." I too reject the "Lockean proviso" in favor of usage theory. For example, if I farm an unowned plot of land, I have homesteaded the right to continue using it for that purpose.

The idea of communal ownership is incoherent. By what right does "all of humanity" come to "own" the earth? How am I violating another's rights by farming a vacant plot of land? Suppose Crusoe lives on a deserted island and Friday lives on another at the other side of the earth. If either of them uses a bit of land, does this somehow constitute an injustice done to the other? If this were *really* the case, then in order for anyone to use any land for any purpose, first he would have to receive the approval of a democratic majority of all mankind.[2] Under such a ridiculous, arrangement, we would all die out rather quickly. Moreover, suppose all land really *is* the rightful property of all mankind. Some efficient way to make use of the land must be devised. Henry George proposes a sort of neo-Lockean proviso whereby individuals can homestead the right to *use* land for their own purposes.[3] Thus, communal ownership, in addition to being an unjustifiable doctrine, is impractical and ultimately collapses under its own terms.

Con has not explained what exactly "exploitation" means. Is all wage labor illegitimate? In a system that supposedly prohibits the use of initiatory force, how do you prevent individuals from freely and voluntarily entering into such contractual arrangements? How do you prevent individuals from accumulating wealth and capital? More importantly, why would you want to?

Proudhon and other early anarcho-communists were writing prior to the work of Bohm-Bawerk and Menger.[4] Proudhon's "money-crankism" and opposition to usury is predicated on, among other things, the completely fallacious assumption that the interest rate is determined by the quantity of money, the former being inversely proportional to the latter.[5] Today we know that, together with inflation and the risk of default, the interest rate is determined by a time preference for present consumption over future consumption.[6]

Communist opposition to wage labor is also based on a similar misunderstanding. Suppose a retailer, Polk, buys logs from a lumberjack, Jones. Polk then pays workers X, Y, and Z to transport the logs down the river. This is not exploitation – X, Y, and Z may have lacked the capital to purchase the logs themselves, they may want to be paid immediately rather than waiting until the logs are sold, or they may want to avoid the risk that they can't find a buyer. Thus, Polk, the capitalist, actually provides a valuable service.[7]

B) The real point of contention here is which theory of property ownership is better, so in light of this I think we can both safely drop this issue.

2. Economic Prosperity and Well-Being

A) While Con gives examples of invalid a priori systems and explains *how* such systems might be falsified, she does not actually bring up any objections to Mises' system in particular. Moreover, she has not addressed the law of marginal utility, the time value of money, or the law of supply and demand. These principles form the core of our disagreement, both on this issue and others, including economic planning, usury, and worker exploitation.

B) While the Tragedy of the Commons *can* be used as an argument against collective land ownership, its implications are more wide ranging. Con has apparently missed the point of the illustration: when *any* resource (in this case land) is held in common, no individual is directly responsible for it. It's irrelevant whether or not a state manages the land; collectivization has the same results regardless. Imagine a classroom where test scores are collectivized – the mean is calculated and everyone receives this as a grade. What incentive is there for the hard workers to study, knowing that their efforts will barely affect the outcome and they'll get the same grade as the guy in the back row who sells meth and hasn't bathed in two weeks? Any sane person would simply decide not to devote so much time to school and instead play Call of Duty and post on DDO.

I'll address land exploitation and the Tragedy of the Anti-Commons in the next round.

C) Con offers two possible answers. First, the labor theory of value, in addition to having been superseded by marginal utility, is completely irrelevant to the issue of pricing.[8] The labor theory is normative and intrinsic. In order to convey information useful for production decisions, price must be determined by extrinsic, subjective consumer desires through supply and demand.

Con's second answer is no better. In small, self-sufficient communities, we would lose *all* the benefits conferred by economies of scale and *most* the benefits of specialization and the division of labor. Not only would this mean no cars, computers, and cell phones, it would mean no refrigeration, no vaccines, and no expensive medical equipment like MRI scanners. Essentially, we would all be reduced to subsistence farming. Moreover, without the ability to produce genetically modified crops, chemical fertilizers, and other agricultural goods requiring industrialization, it would be difficult or impossible to support the world's current population.[9]

D) I never claimed China was a capitalist utopia, nor would any sane person. I only stated that living conditions have greatly improved with the corresponding increase in economic freedom, which my opponent seems to agree with.

3. Power structures

A) Con claims her plan doesn't require a state, yet she has not adequately responded to the issues in 3B.

B) To answer my objections, Con essentially asserts that her system *won't* force people to follow the dictates of the economic planner, be productive, or stay within the collective. However, this *completely* ignores my point that a communist society *can't survive* unless this is done. I disagree that government is tyrannical by definition. Moreover, a user fee system where the state is limited only to the protection of natural rights is much less likely to become tyrannous than the sort of organization necessary to hold a communist society together.

|| CONCLUSION ||

The majority of Con's case rests on a deprecated theory of value. The idea of collective land ownership is neither logically sound nor internally consistent. Moreover, even if we take it seriously, it would still result in a sort of pseudo-private ownership. Con has not adequately addressed the free rider problem or the economic calculation problem. Her proposal that we live in small "sustainable" communities would mean straining the world's food supply and eliminating nearly all of the modern conveniences we enjoy as a result of industrialization.

The resolution is affirmed.

References: http://tinyurl.com...
Danielle

Con

== Introduction and Analysis ==

Pro is correct in that I've made points from both collectivist anarchists and anarcho-communists; however, given the parameters of communism this is completely permissible. Anarcho-syndicalists for example vary in their points of view on economic arrangements from a collectivist anarchism type of system to an anarcho-communist economic system [1]. Therefore I can argue in favor of syndicalism and still meet the "communist" requirements, as various camp ideologies tend to overlap -- though all three mentioned here are anti-capitalist, anti-private property and co-operative economic systems.

As explained, in this round I'll begin my analysis and respond to Pro's questions and comments in the next.

== Con's Case ==

"Land monopoly is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies. It is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly." -- Winston Churchill

Pro maintains that self-ownership gives one the right to own land. However if Pro farms plot A and I would like to farm plot B, Pro should not be able to say "You can not farm plot B without paying me rent" even though Pro has nothing whatsoever to do with plot B. Doing so would actually interfere with MY right to self-ownership, and the right to the fruits of my labor.

Why should Pro "own" plot B just because? Further why should he be able to charge rent if one sought to utilize plot B for food, shelter or production if he is not using it? Doing so automatically makes one indebted to the owner completely unnecessarily. Pro does a good job of making it seem as if I advocate interfering with one's peaceful activity on their own land, when in reality I've encouraged the complete opposite. I'm advocating this same privilege for everyone and not only an unjustified capitalist class like Pro is.

Though Pro tried to establish a distinction between slavery and voluntary labor, in selling one's labor (which they have the right to do) one also sells their liberty. The boss tells the worker what to do, what to produce, when, and so on. This generates social relationships based on authority and sets the necessary conditions for the exploitation of labor to occur. I use the word exploitation though perhaps oppressed is more pertinent. The laborer has no choice but to sell their labor and thus sell their liberty. Under Pro's system, self-sufficiency is not possible. All land belongs to someone, so like a slave you can either choose to work for another or die. While there are obvious differences, a distinct connection can still be made.

Selling one's labor is different from self-ownership; the former is merely a pawn who receives only a fraction of what their labor is worth. Self-ownership refers to one's right to peaceful activity and the right to keep the earnings without having to forfeit a portion to a so-called higher authority. I'm sure Pro does not like forfeiting such gains in the name of taxation to a State, but when it's to a capitalist landlord (which serves the same function of the State) then suddenly it's immoral. In fact philosopher Hans Hermann Hoppe notes that landlords like the State are simply territorial monopolists.

In this debate, I will be proposing an anarcho-syndicalist society as their goal is usually libertarian communism [2]. This system espouses worker's solidarity. Capitalists are powerful insofar as they control vast amounts of wealth, and they rely on on the complicity and cooperation of workers to remain subservient. This is only possible because workers are powerless against the resources available to the capitalist - particularly considering the million of unemployed who can take the place of anyone not prepared to shut up and do what they're told. In this way an elite class controls production, largely controls the market and essentially dominates society.

Capitalism is literally based on taking as much advantage of people as possible. Notions of voluntary exchange can be disqualified considering the system specifically makes it so the "volunteer" is significantly disadvantaged and manipulated via force by a make-believe authority to accept imaginary property rights. A contrary approach is utilizing collective decision making within a community. The goal would be to protect the social autonomy of every member of the anarcho-syndicalist union, while allowing socially autonomous individuals the ability to work together and cooperate with others.

Social bonds will be much more prevalent in this society due to its inherent structure. Worker and community assemblies will employ mainly a form of direct democracy, and said groups can also be expected to resolve disputes. The principle of self-management refers to the idea that the purpose of social organizations should be for the administration of things rather than the government of people. While it makes social organization and cooperation possible, it also allows the highest possible amount of individual freedom.

Is this system plausible in practice? In 1920, under anarchist and syndicalist influence workers and peasants all across Italy occupied their workplaces and the land. They simply ignored the property owners and their state enforced property rights. The movement was non-violent in nature as workers simply took over what they already used but did not control [3]. Though this was obviously pleasing to the masses, it was eventually stifled by proprietors hiring a private army of fascists to use violence to suppress the workers and maintain control.

Fifteen years later during the Spanish Revolution, libertarian communism was put into effect. More than 60% of the land was very quickly collectively cultivated by the peasants themselves, without landlords, without bosses, and without instituting capitalist competition to spur production. In almost all the industries, revolutionary worker-based committees and their syndicates reorganized and administered production, distribution, and public services without capitalists, high-salaried managers, or the authority of the state [4].

The results were extraordinary. "Workers coordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production, built more schools and bettered public services. They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy, but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganization of social life. They replaced the war between men by the universal practice of mutual aid, and replaced rivalry by the principle of solidarity" [4]. Positive changes were also blatantly evident in social relations [5].

This system is more humanitarian than capitalism. It espouses the egalitarian doctrine of all humans being equal in their fundamental worth or moral status [6]. This is considered by many to be the natural state of society. A study of major world economies revealed a correlation between income inequality and problems such as homicide, infant mortality, obesity, teenage pregnancies, emotional depression and prison population [7]. Additionally, when production is not for profit, there is no reason to ignore environmental costs creating a healthier planet for everyone.

Classism also paves the way for other isms: racism, sexism, etc. which merely reflect a belief about a separation of class (power and rights differential) among those of different races or gender which is clearly immoral. The same logic applies to wealth. This does not mean that everyone ought to have the same; merely that people should have similar opportunities and live free of an oppressive and harmful class system that necessarily exploits and oppresses a certain group of people, indicating an unequal application of human rights [8]. Capitalism is therefore necessarily less humanitarian.

SOURCES: http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
J.Kenyon

Pro

== Analysis ==

As Con explained, the remainder of the debate will be focused on her case for anarcho-syndicalism rather than my case for capitalism, though some of my criticisms will carry over. Before I enter into the body of Con's case, I'll briefly cover two issues I didn't have enough characters for in the previous round.

== Pro Case ==

2A) Con's view of the Tragedy of the Anti-commons is short-sighted. The only reason for any proprietor to retain an ownership claim is in expectation of future profit.

Regarding land exploitation, Walter Block, author of "Economics and the Environment," explains the idea of libertarian environmentalism. A fisherman is more likely to take care to avoid overfishing when he actually owns the body of water. Similarly, a cattle farmer does not suddenly get a wild impulse to go and shoot his lower fifty. By contrast, there is no opportunity cost lost by needlessly killing wild animals. If a factory dumps chemical waste into a river, ruining the business of a nearby fishery, the fishery owners are entitled to be paid damages. Things like air pollution can be handled by class action suits.[1]

== Con Case ==

Land monopolies can't exist on capitalism. If Columbus discovers an uninhabited continent, he cannot claim the entire thing, nor can he simply "fence off" a disproportionately large area for himself. Property can only be justly acquired through homesteading, or, as John Locke famously termed it, "mixing" one's labor with the land to produce something useful.[2] Thus, if I have no proper ownership claim for Plot B, I can't deny Con the right to farm it herself.

If I *have* worked on Plot B, or improved it in some way, then I *do* have a legitimate ownership claim and *can* justly charge rent. If I build a house on Plot B with the intent to use it as a source of income, what right does any tenant have to say that merely because he has lived in it he is therefore entitled to own it? I've created the house using my labor. Moreover, if rent is disallowed, I have no incentive to build a house on an unimproved lot. This reduces the availability of low-cost housing. The same principle applies to all types of capital formation. Under such a narrow conception of ownership, it would be illegal to save money or other goods if one is not presently using them. Eliminating interest on loans and other investments would drastically restrict the availability of capital. Economic efficiency would be seriously hurt without the ability to invest in and allocate capital to profitable sectors.

The potential to abuse workers is limited by three important factors. First, on capitalism, all employment is voluntary; if you don't want to work for someone you don't have to. Moreover, if the wage offered isn't high enough to live on, no one will waste time at such a job. Second, companies have to compete for workers in the same way that they compete for consumers. The marginal revenue product of the individual worker is a multiple of the marginal physical product produced in a given period of time and the final price paid by consumers for those articles. If the marginal revenue product of a group of workers is $50/hour, but the employer only pays them $20/hour, he creates a profit opportunity for his competitors, who might offer more. This ensures that the gap between wages and marginal productivity remains slim. Finally, even if some employers "exploit" their employees by paying them less than the marginal value of their labor, this would not necessarily benefit them. The demand for labor is derived from the consumer demand for goods and services. In order to succeed in the product market, employers would have to pass their cost savings on to consumers in the form of lower prices, benefiting other wage earners.

On top of this, the idea that all wage labor is by definition "exploitation" or "oppression" is absurd. Who honestly believes the chief of surgery at a prestigious hospital is being "exploited" for his labor while a country doctor in private practice is not? This suggests that some other measure of freedom is necessary. In his book "Development as Freedom," Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen analyzes freedom in terms of "opportunity sets," or the ability to choose between different ways of thinking and living.[3] Let's say Richards and his friends Taylor, Wyman, and Watts are construction workers. Using simple tools that they acquired themselves, the marginal value of their labor, is $10/hour each. Jagger, the capitalist, offers to employ them. Using expensive excavators, bulldozers, and other equipment, their marginal productivity increases to $40/hour. Even if Jagger only pays $30/hour, all the parties involved still benefit from this arrangement: Jagger gets a return on his investment; productivity increases, lowering costs for consumers; and the workers can do much more with their labor than they would otherwise be able to. Earning more also allows the workers the option of more leisure time.

Anarcho-syndicalism proposes that "the workers of each plant, company or economic unit would jointly and equally own and operate the organization for which they work. It supposes the elimination of entrepreneurs and the expropriation of investments so that all 'unearned income,' i.e., interest and profits, would be equally divided among the workers of each economic unit."[4] This is enormously impractical, would do nothing to eliminate inequality between disparate economic units, and is utterly devoid of any ethical justification. It's a simple fact that laborers untrained in business management cannot possibly achieve a level of competence comparable to that of professional entrepreneurs; one of the many benefits of the division of labor. If such a system were really feasible, we would see it in the world today competing with traditionally managed businesses. The fact that we don't demonstrates authoritatively that it does not and cannot work.

Because syndicalism can't compete in the free market of ideas, it must be implemented by force. Diego Abad de Santillan wrote of the Spanish Civil War "we do not wish to deny that the nineteenth of July brought with it an overflowing of passions and abuses. It is possible our victory resulted in the death by violence of four or five thousand inhabitants of Catalonia who were listed as rightists and were linked to political or ecclesiastical reaction. But this shedding of blood is the inevitable consequence of a revolution, which, in spite of all barriers, sweeps on like a flood and devastates everything in its path, until it gradually loses its momentum."[5]

The syndicalists promised to abolish money, but eventually succumbed to problem of economic planning and issued "coupons" instead. They promised to abolish the state, only to create multiple mini-states called "committees." They promised individual freedom, but the committees took totalitarian control over virtually every aspect of life.[6] In testimonials recorded by historian Burnett Bolloten, it's stated that "the committee is the paterfamilias. It owns everything; it directs everything. Every special desire has to be submitted to it for consideration; it alone has the final say."[7] Another person noted "I tried in vain to get a drink, either of coffee or wine or lemonade. The village bar had been closed as nefarious commerce."[8] As my opponent noted, In Italy, the syndicalist movement quickly gave way to fascism and is hardly a solid example of communism in practice.

|| CONCLUSION ||

Most of Con's objections to capitalism and support for syndicalism can be dismissed with a proper theory of property and its acquisition. Syndicalism lacks a coherent concept of ownership, blithely ignores the laws of economics, and ultimately confirms my contention that all collectivist societies inevitably tend toward tyranny.

References: http://tinyurl.com...
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

Re: Opening Points

Regarding the ToAC, Pro writes, "The only reason for any proprietor to retain an ownership claim is in expectation of future profit." This is true but doesn't address my point. I wrote, "It was difficult or even impossible for a startup retailer to negotiate successfully the use of that space." People who already owned space made it so that no new businesses from any other owner could be created in that space. Saying the landlord simply wanted to make sure he could profit in the future is exactly the problem. This selfish business model not only stifles production but restricts ownership.

Pro is correct in that people will make sure to preserve resources insofar as depletion would affect their future profit. However my point was that people will cause unnecessary damage and destruction simply to profit in the first place. I could also use Pro's logic against him here. If his point is that people take better care of things that belong to them, he recognizes this argument made by communists that people ought to own the means of production for their labor.

Moving on to his rebuttal, Pro begins by claiming land monopolies can't exist in capitalism. That is absolutely not true. I'm sure Paris Hilton owns tons of property (or will someday) yet has not subjected herself to one iota of work on said property, and I've explained why the term monopoly for property is appropriate. Moreover his entire rebuttal here (and throughout the debate) is completely irrelevant, as his entire economic criticism is based on a model with completely different goals. Pro writes, "Economic efficiency would be seriously hurt without the ability to invest..." However none of this is relevant in my proposition.

Of course capitalism without property would not function, but this logic does not apply to my advocation. Monetary gain is not rewarded in my system, so it doesn't matter if capitalistic methods are better for generating profit. Considering wealth is not the goal and actually what my system tries to specifically avoid, his criticisms are not applicable. In fact Pro should be trying to prove that a wealth-based system is more preferable, while I'm arguing that such a system is anti-humanitarian to begin with. Further demonstration of this misguided assessment is his construction worker example. It seems he determines what's most humanitarian by what generates better investment returns, prices for consumers, etc. Once again wealth is not pertinent to my system, so Pro will have to find some other way to critique my advocation in the final round.

Pro says laborers cannot be abused because:

1. All employment is voluntary

I specifically explained why Pro's system makes self-sufficiency impossible which he's ignored, and how you can volunteer to work for another (forfeit some of your earnings) or die.

2. Employers compete by offering fair wages

I've already addressed this -- "Workers are powerless... particularly considering the million of unemployed who can take the place of anyone not prepared to shut up and do what they're told."

Pro says syndicalist goals are "enormously impractical, would do nothing to eliminate inequality, and are utterly devoid of any ethical justification." First, Pro hasn't given reason for this system to be impractical outside of stating the obvious: that professionals are trained on how to optimize a business structure. However I'm pretty sure bread factory workers can figure out how to make bread, even if they don't figure out what will generate "the best investment returns" (which I've explained is irrelevant). Therefore the alleged benefits of the division of labor he mentions do not matter.

Second, I specifically explained how classism would be void. Pro has literally not responded to any of those arguments yet has the audacity to simply assert the contrary. I challenge Pro to explain how economic classism would exist in a system without rights based determined by wealth. Finally I don't see how being egalitarian is devoid of ethical justification. You'll notice that Pro hasn't made one argument whatsoever against this doctrine yet simply declares it void of justification. He's also failed to make *any* ethical argument in his favor.

Pro's criticisms remain shaky at best. For instance "Because syndicalism can't compete in the free market of ideas, it must be implemented by force." What is the free market of ideas? Moreover it is an act of liberation to try and abolish the 'coercive force' and power of the state and property owners. Pro's arguments are proving to be completely fallacious and downright irresponsible. For example, he mentions how people promised syndicalism in the past but delivered something else. Surely my opponent does not wish me to recount the innumerable times in history when capitalism's been promised yet something else was implemented instead. Quite obviously this is completely irrelevant and does not discredit the respective systems as they are proposed.

Pro also suggests that fascism took over syndicalism in Italy because of syndicalism's shortcomings, which conveniently ignores the reality of capitalist proprietors hiring a private army to implement fascism, and use violence to uphold imaginary property rights while the workers were peacefully going about their lives, simply taking over what they already used. Also, Pro's quote about syndicalist Spain merely demonstrates the fact that there was in fact a war going on -- it does not discredit syndicalism in any way. Capitalism also relies on the forceful upholding of property rights, so I don't see how the quote was pertinent.

Pro concludes, "Most of Con's objections to capitalism... can be dismissed with a proper theory of property and its acquisition." This is obviously a bare assertion considering determining the "proper" theory is the entire purpose of this debate. So far it seems Pro's only been good at making statements but not backing them up. Finally he states syndicalism:

1. Lacks a coherent concept of ownership

How so? I've outlined and compared property vs. possession. Work would be "contracted" by society to produce things people want. Residents of dwellings would make decisions regarding where they live, and people would have the right to own the fruits of their labor.

2. Ignores the laws of economics

No, it ignores the goals of capitalism which is entirely the point.

3. Confirms Pro's contention that all collectivist societies inevitably tend toward tyranny

I welcome my opponent to point out how my system leads "inevitably" toward tyranny instead of just saying it does with no specific explanation.

I'll conclude by pointing out that the rest of Pro's concerns from R2 again all have to do with obsolete economic critiques. His arguments prove that capitalism is better at generating wealth and capital; again syndicalism has completely opposite goals. His other main gripe is that communal ownership is incoherent, because people need to find a way to utilize land efficiently. Apparently this is evidence of communism "collapsing under its own terms" though I don't see how. Syndicalists advocate a system of grassroots social planning instead of privately owned collectives competing in a market economy where profit is the only goal and workers are exploited. Pro continues to assert that force is necessary to maintain such a system, yet doesn't explain how or why, or rather how capitalism is different.

Essentially what Pro considers the right to property I've said is the right to possession. The difference is that property requires the State to be upheld, and such a power-granting class like 'government' is tyrannical which I've explained. I also reject Pro's notion that the world would resort back to subsistence farming under my system and Pro hasn't defended it. The resolution isn't even close to being affirmed...
Debate Round No. 3
J.Kenyon

Pro

Briefly responding to the ToAC and collective ownership, if the property in question was really valuable, and the owners had no plans to use it themselves, they would sell it for a profit or lease it out; this is really a non-issue. A system whereby the workers own the means of production has no particular advantage over capitalism inasmuch as the means of production are *collectively* owned, not privately owned, hence Con's comparison is not analogous.

Con claims I have not "made one argument whatsoever" against the doctrine of egalitarianism. This is false; refer back to 1A in Round 2, which Con has not responded to. Additionally, this is a negative proof fallacy.[1] Con claims egalitarianism is desirable and it is her burden to demonstrate this. So far, all I've seen toward this end is the claim that "classism" has negative impacts. Unless her standard is utilitarianism, this is nothing but an appeal to consequence.[2] I have consistently argued for negative rights on a priori grounds throughout the entire debate, and, if you recall, Con actually agreed to this in the first round. Thus, the entire issue is a moot point. Finally, she fallaciously assumes a causal relationship between income disparity and social ills.[3] More likely, this is caused by cronyist practices in the third world.[4] Con has conceded that capitalism increases economic prosperity, which, in turn, leads to better healthcare, respect for human rights, and overall well-being.[5]

Both Con and myself agree that there is an objective right to self ownership. As an extension of this, we both agree that land becomes appropriated to individuals through work. However, Con also holds that all land rightfully belongs to the human race as a whole. Con still has not justified the latter claim; I posed the problem in R2 and it has gone completely ignored. At this point in the debate, it's too late to bring up new arguments since I won't be able to respond to them. Land ownership, and by extension the negative rights issue should go to Pro by default.

Con has given conflicting arguments regarding economic prosperity. Early in the debate, she claimed that capitalism is inefficient and exploits workers. I've answered that this is not the case – capitalism increases the both the opportunity sets available to them and generates greater prosperity was everyone. Now, Con has suddenly abandoned her previous line of reasoning and instead argued that prosperity is actually bad and we'd be much better off poor. If Con really believes this, I have a hard time understanding why she has gone to such pains to argue that private property makes inefficient use of resources and that collectivization in Spain "created new wealth, [and] increased production." Apparently, she wants to have her cake and eat it too. Moreover, I've argued that the economic disadvantages of syndicalism lead not only to less prosperity, but real deprivation. Again, Con has not responded to this, though I brought it up as early as Round 2 under 2C.

Paris Hilton may own a lot of land, but a monopoly only exists when "an individual or a group of individuals has the exclusive control of the supply of a definite commodity or factor of production."[6]
Currently, nearly 70% of all Americans own their own homes.[7] Additionally, there is a great deal of unowned land in the US that can't be claimed due to restrictive government policies.[8] Finally, throughout the history of the United States very little land has actually been appropriated through homesteading; most land has been granted through government fiat.[9] I think Con's real argument here is against so-called economic "dynasties." Inheritance is simply a form of gift; a voluntary transfer of ownership rights that can't coherently be opposed to without also opposing things like birthday presents, wedding presents, anniversary presents, etc. In any case, outlawing inheritance and other wealth transfers can't be done without violating negative rights.

Con has only answered two of the three responses I gave to the worker exploitation issue. The third (and most important) point I made was that even if some employers "exploit" their employees this would not necessarily bring them greater profits. To succeed in the product market, employers would have to pass on their cost savings to consumers in the form of lower prices, benefiting other wage earners. Con's answers to my first two objections are flawed as well. Regarding the first, she is equivocating on the definition of freedom. I'm referring to freedom from interference while she refers to having an large opportunity set. Moreover, I've argued elsewhere throughout the debate that capitalism actually expands individual opportunity sets. Regarding the second, merely because some people are unemployed does not mean they are immediately in a position to hop in and replace whoever gets laid off. A growing economy is constantly in transition; technological progress and the rise of new industries puts old industries out of business. Unemployment of this sort is often temporary. Additionally, unemployed workers may be unqualified or not geographically situated to fill the positions in question. In any case, the actual data shows that the purchasing power of low and middle income households is far higher today than it was in the 60's and 70's when the official poverty rate was introduced.[10]

Apparently, Con believes that any form of wage labor is prima facie exploitative, even if you're a millionaire athlete like LeBron James or the chief of surgery at a prestigious hospital. So strongly does she feel about this that apparently she is justified in outlawing it. I fail to see how this is possible without violating negative rights. Additionally, this is paternalistic; shouldn't it be a decision for the individual? If, after medical school, I *want* to work for a hospital rather than going into private practice, who is Con to tell me I can't? If Con wants to live in a hovel, she is more than welcome to. Economics is wertfrei, that is, it prescribes no ethical norms. Capitalism does not command individuals to strive to become wealthy, it merely allows them to should they so choose.

Con misquoted me claiming syndicalism "would do nothing to eliminate inequality..." What I *actually* wrote is that it wouldn't eliminate inequality between *disparate economic units.* This doesn't require an argument to support it; it follows from the *definition* of syndicalism, which would only equalize income within the group of workers that controls a certain business.[11] Additionally, I never claimed that syndicalism will always fail just because it failed in Italy and Spain, (though I have argued this elsewhere on a priori grounds). I was merely pointing out that, contrary to my opponent's assertion, Italy and Spain were not the shining examples of communism in practice she makes them out to be.

Conclusion:

Con claims that property rights require a state to be upheld, which is both false and irrelevant. My conception of property rights can function just as well under anarcho-capitalism. I only support the existence of minimal state operating under a user fee system on pragmatic grounds. I fail to see how such a state is somehow prima facie tyrannous. Con claims my case is predicated on the assumption that economic prosperity should be the ultimate goal, which is again false. I've consistently argued for negative rights; economic prosperity is just one of the benefits of this arrangement which most people find desirable. Con, on the other hand, has offered conflicting value criteria, arguing at first that syndicalism increases prosperity, only the waffle and advocate a vague notion of collective ownership rights.

Thank you, theLwerd, for a challenging debate! Thanks everyone for reading, remember to leave an RFD, and Merry Christmas!

The resolution is affirmed,
Vote Pro!

References: http://tinyurl.com...
Danielle

Con

Regarding the ToAC my opponent suggests this simply will not happen. I cited in examples in R1 of where this did happen in Europe, and moreover, it's happened in places like Russia [1] and even the U.S. [2]. The commons leads to overuse and destruction; the anticommons leads to underuse and waste. It also restricts ownership mandating a class and thus rights distinction (this argument was ignored). Since both systems have potential problems, capitalism hasn't proven to be better. Additionally I mentioned that people will cause unnecessary destruction to the environment simply to profit which negatively affects everyone - something they would have no reason to do in my system.

Pro says he responded to egalitarianism in Round 2, Point 1A (which I have allegedly not responded to). I challenge my opponent to point out where he even ONCE mentioned the word egalitarianism in that point. Hint: he hasn't. That point talks about property rights - not the ethical doctrine I've used to justify my case. Pro says it's too late in the debate to bring up new arguments, yet hypocritically makes arguments against egalitarianism for the first time in the very last round.

Contrary to Con's accusations, I have NOT committed the negative proof fallacy to justify this doctrine. I've pointed out the theory that egalitarianism reflects the natural state of society, as well as provided a link proving the negative effects *because* of income disparity. Pro has not responded to either of those or any of my arguments for egalitarianism. I haven't argued X is true because there is no proof that X is false. Instead I've argued X is true because of A, B and C.

Pro suggests egalitarianism is an appeal to consequence. On the contrary I've been using facts and historical evidence to justify my arguments, so at this point it seems Pro is just name-dropping fallacies to discredit my arguments without justifying his accusations. Pro continues, "I have consistently argued for negative rights on a priori grounds... Thus, the entire issue is a moot point." This is false. Negative rights are typically rights to not be subjected to certain conditions; this has nothing whatsoever to do with what I've said about the ToAC.

Pro continues to claim I've used fallacious reasoning (post hoc: A happens before B; therefore A is the cause of B) in response to the relationship between income disparity and social ills. No - I've explained exactly how income disparity *mandates* social ills. Pro suggests cronyist practices are to blame, though never explains how and simply provides a link to a book that apparently explains this. Not only was it an improper citation, but I'm not debating the Cato Institute. I'm debating J.Kenyon, and he has not justified this assertion whatsoever so we have no reason to accept it (not that it's true anyway). Apparently he expects me and the audience to read the entire book he linked us to and accept that as his argument. Bad conduct.

Pro writes, "Con has conceded that capitalism increases economic prosperity, which leads to... respect for human rights, and overall well-being." Yet another bare assertion -- I could just as easily say *my* system offers more respect for human rights and well-being. Moreover I've explained that capitalism leads to economic prosperity insofar as it creates monetary wealth whereas my system does not. Clearly a system with no currency does not generate "economic wealth," though this is completely irrelevant as I've repeatedly explained my system values NON-monetary incentives. I pointed out Pro would therefore have to find another way to criticize my system; apparently he could not.

Pro continues, "Con holds that all land rightfully belongs to the human race as a whole. Con still has not justified the latter claim." At this point I'm starting to consider these accusations bad conduct. It's one thing to argue against my claims; it's another to outright lie and say I haven't responded to something I clearly did. First, I don't hold that "all land belongs to the entire human race." Like Pro I contend that those who labor on land have a right to peacefully continue laboring on said land. Unlike Pro, I think people should *only* be entitled to the land on which they work. Meanwhile, Pro hasn't justified owning property you don't work on. He claims this permits for "cheap housing" for certain people, yet this is obviously a bogus contention considering people need not rely on "cheap" housing in my system.

Pro states, "She claimed that capitalism is inefficient and exploits workers... Con has suddenly [argued] that prosperity is actually bad and we'd be much better off poor." This is literally the most ridiculous straw man I've ever encountered in a debate. First, I never said capitalism was inefficient. Second, I NEVER claimed that "being poor" was good. Nobody can "be poor" in my system; my system rewards one's labor via allowing free market trade. One is only "poor" if they don't work. If they work, they have the same rights as everyone else who works. They have no more rights, including "property" rights.

Pro claims I didn't respond to his R2 2C point regarding economic disadvantages of syndicalism. False. In that point Pro said syndicalism would bring us back to subsidence farming. I pointed out that Pro has not justified this claim. In response, Pro says "Con has not responded to the economic disadvantages." First, I don't have to since Pro never justified them to begin with! Second, I've explained ad nauseum how and why all of Pro's economic arguments from R2 are irrelevant!

Pertaining to the Paris Hilton analogy, Pro posits one cannot be forbidden to transfer monetary wealth in the form of a present without violating negative rights. For the zillionth time, there would be no economic wealth in my system. Further, thus far Pro has agreed that labor on land leads to certain possession (which he considers property) rights. However he has never justified why those who do not work on something have the right to own it. In fact, that is the entire point up for discussion here.

Pro's next argument boils down to "The actual data shows that the purchasing power of low and middle income households is far higher today than it was in the 60's and 70's..." For the zillionth plus one time, "purchasing power" is irrelevant to my system thus the comparison is moot. Also, just like Pro's flawed China example the U.S. has NOT been practicing capitalism, so it's dubious to credit said system with this success anyway considering all of the social program expansions and subsidizing.

Pro remarks, "So strongly does she feel about [wage labor] that apparently she is justified in outlawing it." My system does not advocate government, so Pro is completely fabricating the idea that I would "outlaw" wages. He continues, "Shouldn't it be a decision for the individual?" Devising a currency system to facilitate trade is okay; restricting the rights of people on the basis of currency is not permissible.

The definition of syndicalism Pro gives is from Mises, and begins "A naive and impractical proposal for the economic organization of society..." This is ridiculous. The audience has NO reason to accept such a biased definition, so Pro using that definition to justify his claim is obviously inappropriate. And finally, Pro hasn't proven that the syndicalist examples I've given were not as great as I said - again he simply asserts it.

Pro hasn't remotely proven how capitalism "shows more concern for the happiness and welfare of mankind." Instead, he ONLY talked about how it's better at generating wealth (which is irrelevant). I've proven how capitalism is exclusive and oppressive, and my system cares more about the welfare of mankind - not just man. Go ahead and vote Pro based on your own bias, but my opponent has completely failed at upholding his burden.

SOURCES: http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 4
92 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Itsallovernow 6 years ago
Itsallovernow
Actually, that's too much reading! Lol. Forget that
Posted by Itsallovernow 6 years ago
Itsallovernow
I don't like perfect records. I could easily vote bomb just to sabatoge his record because the score is so close right now, but that would be a middle finger to the hard work put into this debate and destroy a honest outcome. I'll have to print this out, actually read it, and vote on it. Good luck to the both of you!
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
"For now, I would summarize that this may J.Kenyon's worst debate to date. It isn't up to your usual standards of thoroughness or good reasoning. Lwerd's arguments are fairly competent throughout, with the exception of a bit in (I think it was R2) that seemed to be mixed around. She also more closely addressed the actual topic of the resolution, to which Kenyon paid little attention."

That is *EXACTLY* what I thought of the debate too.

And wow I just noticed all the other comments haha sorry I didn't respond. I was away from DDO for several days... I gotta do some work now, but I should be done by this afternoon and I'll respond (I don't even know if any of the comments were addressed toward me - I'm just assuming).
Posted by Anacharsis 6 years ago
Anacharsis
Well, since it took literally hours to read through all of the many good arguments here in an effort to try and be fair in my judgement, that doesn't leave me any time at the moment to provide a lot of commentary, which I also think is important in justifying a vote on such a weighty topic. I will try to post a bit more in the next day or two. For now, I would summarize that this may J.Kenyon's worst debate to date (yes, I've read all of them nearly in entirety). It isn't up to your usual standards of thoroughness or good reasoning. Lwerd's arguments are fairly competent throughout, with the exception of a bit in (I think it was R2) that seemed to be mixed around. She also more closely addressed the actual topic of the resolution, to which Kenyon paid little attention.
Posted by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
The vote-bomber, IrishMafia, seems to be a Democrat with down-the-line Democrat stances. Maybe he just hates capitalism?
Posted by mcc1789 6 years ago
mcc1789
There has been some commentary on the abolition of money in revolutionary Spain, and how this seemingly fell through. First of all, it would be good to point out that, in the middle of a war, it was much harder to get something together like this. Second, no blanket policy was forced onto people. There were areas in which collectives abolished money, others attempted to pay according to work done, as with coupons or something like that, and regular currency was also sometimes used. No doubt there were instances of abuses, but this no more will refute an entire ideology than the (too numerous to name) abuses under actually existing modern capitalism. The strongest argument to refute the idea that collectivization was forced is the fact that even when the anarchists were in full force within Catalonia, much of the land remained in individual plots. Additionally, rural collectives were created in many areas that had no anarchist militias present at any point in the war-some were even under Franco at the time. Even when a majority chose to collectivize, individual peasants were not forced to, but received a plot for them and their families. This does not even touch on industrial collectivization, in which factory production was tripled only a year after it was syndicalized. The best exploration of all this, in my opinion, can be found in the book The Anarchist Collectives, by Sam Dolgoff. The AFAQ, starting with section I.8, also addresses these issues in debth, using original sources, many written by eyewitnesses to these events (also in The Anarchist Collectives).
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
I would counter the v-bomb but I don't want L to get suspicious of me committing hate crimes
Posted by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
@mongeese: I'm not so sure about your seeming, keeping in mind that Pro presented China as a shining example of "degraded Communism."

Communist/capitalist China doesn't seem as bad as post-syndichalist Italy, not by a long shot.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
I feel like I should explain why I haven't commented since the debate finished. I haven't read your last round, L, but judging by the comments it's obvious that you were/are mad at me and I had no desire to fuel the fire.

I agree my fourth round was weak, but so was your third. I think you're making a huge deal out out of the definition of syndicalism I used, but (a) I didn't actually include the 'biased' part of the definition; the part that I did include was (arguably) accurate, and (b) syndicalism itself a pretty broad term that encompasses many different belief systems; you never made it explicitly clear what your version includes or how it would work. Many syndicalists (including Proudhon, as Alex pointed out on FB) don't even consider it a form of communism.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
"She said it eliminates classism, racism, sexism, etc.--never refuted."

Lolwut? From R4:

"[Con] fallaciously assumes a causal relationship between income disparity and social ills.[3] More likely, this is caused by cronyist practices in the third world.[4] Con has conceded that capitalism increases economic prosperity, which, in turn, leads to better healthcare, respect for human rights, and overall well-being.[5]"

"Egalitarianism wasn't touched til the last round (bad conduct)."

Again, lolwut? From R1:

"The idea of communal ownership is incoherent. By what right does "all of humanity" come to "own" the earth? How am I violating another's rights by farming a vacant plot of land? Suppose Crusoe lives on a deserted island and Friday lives on another at the other side of the earth. If either of them uses a bit of land, does this somehow constitute an injustice done to the other? If this were *really* the case, then in order for anyone to use any land for any purpose, first he would have to receive the approval of a democratic majority of all mankind.[2] Under such a ridiculous, arrangement, we would all die out rather quickly."

...and from R4:

"This is a negative proof fallacy.[1] Con claims egalitarianism is desirable and it is her burden to demonstrate this. So far, all I've seen toward this end is the claim that "classism" has negative impacts. Unless her standard is utilitarianism, this is nothing but an appeal to consequence.[2] I have consistently argued for negative rights on a priori grounds throughout the entire debate, and, if you recall, Con actually agreed to this in the first round."
25 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: So is wealth really irrelevant to human happiness, and hence to humanitarian ideals? Con invites us to vote for Pro if we think so, and I think it is self-evident. Discussing economic theories in the abstract seems to me like discussing swimming without reference to water. Pro's most compelling rgument was the advance of prosperity in China as a consequence of introducing more capitalism. Con's counterexample of a brief period of supposed positive anarchy in Spain in 1920 was not compelling.
Vote Placed by jat93 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
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Vote Placed by Anacharsis 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by dylonx5 6 years ago
dylonx5
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Total points awarded:70